Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book Review: Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham

Description (from Goodreads):
A teenager struggles through physical loss to the start of acceptance in an absorbing, artful novel at once honest and insightful, wrenching and redemptive.

On a sunny day in June, at the beach with her mom and brother, fifteen-year-old Jane Arrowood went for a swim. And then everything — absolutely everything — changed. Now she’s counting down the days until she returns to school with her fake arm, where she knows kids will whisper, "That’s her — that’s Shark Girl," as she passes. In the meantime there are only questions: Why did this happen? Why her? What about her art? What about her life? In this striking first novel, Kelly Bingham uses poems, letters, telephone conversations, and newspaper clippings to look unflinchingly at what it’s like to lose part of yourself - and to summon the courage it takes to find yourself again.

My thoughts:

Shark Girl, a debut novel by Kelly Bingham, is a book that you cannot put down. A beautiful, heart breaking and inspiring story written in verse will make you cry, laugh and honor your life, just as it is. 

On a normal summer day Jane goes to the beach with her mother and Michael. At the morning when she woke up she never though that that day would change her life...for good. Jane goes to swim and after 10 days in coma she wakes up in a hospital bed without her left arm. Everything she has dreamed about changes.

For years Jane has been the best artist of her school, winning prices from her art pieces. Now, without her right hand, she feels like that part of her life, the part she loved the most, is over. In hospital Jane meets Justin, a 11 year old boy who's other leg has been amputated. Through Justin, inspirational letters by others who have gone through the same and through the support of her friends and family she tries to build her world again. 

But none of the support is enough if she herself isn't ready to face her loss.

As mentioned before, "Shark Girl" is a novel written in verse. It is Bingham's debut novel and I must say how positively surprised I was about the language, the story, everything. The novel is so beautifully written it keeps you reading until you reach the end, and even then, you want for more. Bingham's description of Jane and her feelings is heartbreaking and it really makes you feel happy about the things you have. Shark Girl is also an inspirational story about how we all should accept ourselves as we are, because sometimes the things in us we don't like are ones that we cannot change. We just need to get along with them to be happy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Challenge to you: Men of 2011

I was thinking about a nice challenge to give to all of you, my dear readers, and for myself as well. And then I got it... I know there probably are other challenges like this as well, but you know, maybe I get my own twist to it or something.

So, since I am completely obsessed with hot guys (I proudly admit it) I decided that it would be awesome to do a "calendar" of my favorite guys, choosing one for each month. And I decided to challange your into it as well. So make a list similar to mine to your own blog, listing your 12 favorite guys, one for each month of 2011. Give short description why you chose the guys, if you want to, but I think the most important thing is the pictures. :D

Link your list to this blog post, and then on the first day of 2011 I will share all of the lists in my blog! I would love to get these as much as possible, so please encourage your friends to do this as well. At least I do not find anything more relaxing that going to Google to find pictures of hot guys and telling why I like them. :D I hope I am not alone. And I would love to see your lists and do we have any similarities.

And sure, if you do not want to do list of guys, you are more than welcome to do the list of beautiful girls. 

I am sorry if I make myself sound like a freak in this post. This is just me, I am always like this!  So I warn you beforehand.


READ.READ.READ. introduces "The Men of 2011":


Rupert Grint
 Okay, I have always thought that he is cute. But in the newest Harry Potter film... he is plain sexy. I love him as Ron, but I think that I would love him even more as himself; he seems to be goofy, down to earth etc. I cannot wait for the second part of The Deathly Hallows to see more of this hottie.


Tom Felton
Okay, for the past three month, this guy has been my main weakness. His acting, music, looks... everything. And his ACCENT. Dammmn, he is just so hot. I can't wait to see the second part of Deathly Hallows. And I can't wait to see him in other roles than the role of Draco Malfoy, even though Draco is one of my favorite Potter characters.

Damian Kulash
I was fortunate enough to see this guy perform with his band in August 2010 here in Oulu. Yeah, miracles happen... sometimes amazeness like Ok Go visit places like this. His voice in incredible and the music Ok Go plays is just the type I love. And this guy, he is incredibly handsome. Even though he looks so good in this picture, it does not do him justice. You have to see him yourself to respect the handsomeness.


Paul Wesley
 The ones that know me well know that I have weakness for vampires and for tall guys with dark hair and eyes and good bodies. So what happens when all of these things are put together? I get obsessed. Since the first episode of Vampire Diaries I have been in love with Paul Wesley and Stefan Salvatore. It seems that I cannot get enough of him. And what is better month to celebrate the hotness of Paul than April, the month I turn 20 and the month of my reading vacation.

Eric Dane
 After seeing Eric Dane for the first time as McSteamy in Grey's Anatomy I have gone to the Doctor's appointments with high hopes of meeting a doctor as hot as him. This probably does not come as a surprise, but I haven't met a doctor like him yet... but maybe one day. With his hotness and steamyness, Eric Dane can help me in the May 2011 IB exams. 


Ezra Koenig
 This guy might be familiar to some of you as the vocalist of Vampire Weekend. I totally fell in love with Vampire Weekend at the beginning of 2010 when I heard someone listening to as school. It was only couple of weeks ago that I actually googled pictures of them and I found this hottie. Vampire Weekend is definitely the number 1 band I would love to see perform live. Maybe they want to come to play to graduation party which will be held in June?


Colin Firth
 Okay, I know some of you are like "C'MON, you are 20 and he is like 100 years old!" SO WHAT? Have you seen him in Love Actually? What about in Bridget Jones? Or in BBC's Pride and Prejudice? After seeing P&P so many years ago, there hasn't been a way to go back; Colin Firth has totally stolen my heart. He made me learn to love Mr. Darcy even more (I did not think that is even possible). He also introduced me to the glorious English men which are now my weak point. And sideburns... oh god. Those are my weak point.

H.R.H. Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
I had to include one royal to my list... I love William and Harry as well, but I must admit that Carl Philip, the Prince of Sweden is my favorite royal. I think he is introducing the model of our new home in this picture... or then not.


James McAvoy
I could call this my inspiration picture for my time in university in Scotland. If there are guys like him in there, oh, I am ready! I fell in love with him in "Inside I'm Dancing" and when I saw him in "Becoming Jane" I was sold. His accent... just listen to it and you will be in heaven. I proudly admit I have gone to Youtube many times just to listen to his accent from his interviews.
Ed Westwick
 Ed Westwick as bad boy Chuck Bass is one of the main reasons I still keep watching Gossip Girl. It seems that the plot itself is just repeating itself different ways, but it is interesting to follow the changes in Chuck. And the pure hotness of Ed Westwick makes it a lot more enjoyable.
Blake Ritson
Since seeing Mansfield Park 2007 I have been in love with this guy. Edmund, my second favorite Austen man, becomes even more wonderful when Blake Ritson is playing him. Just watch the movie and you know what I am talking about.

Matthew Morrison 
Well, what can I say? I think I would not mind ending the year 2011 with listening to this baby singing me some Christmas songs. He makes watching GLEE even more enjoyable. 

Book Review: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Description (from Goodreads):
When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

My thoughts:

I remember seeing this book for the first time during a time when I had no idea what YA states for. It feels such a long time ago, but actually it isn't. I think it was 2007 when my host sister Ale tried to make me read this book, but for some reason I did not do so. I had read "The Truth about forever" by Dessen, I still remember buying it from the clearance section at Books-a-Million, but for some reason I did not get excited about this one after seeing it. And how stupid I then was.

"This Lullaby" introduces us to Remy who has stopped believing in love. You could think that is is because there are no guys in her life. But it is quite the contrary. Remy has had several boyfriends, I don't think that her fingers and toes would be enough to count them. But it is her mother's several marriages and their failures that has shown her that love is not all that glorious everyone seems to think it is. For years she has been the one planning the weddings and eventually settling the divorces. But now she is over with it. It is the summer after her high school and she is counting the months for her personal freedom= university of Stanford. 

Everything changes when Remy meets Dexter. She first thinks that he is just one of her normal flings, one that lasts until she feels like ending it. But on many ways, Dexter is different. He is so unlike the "ideal" guy of Remy. He does things that she normally hates, but while she is with him, she is able to ignore those things. When her friends start to talk about love, she gets annoyed. But could what she feels for Dexter be love? Or is she even capable of feeling love? Does love even exist?

I really loved this book! Remy was an interesting character to read about because in a way she reminded me of myself. Remy is a control freak and she has totally lost her trust in love. I don't say that I have completely lost my trust in love, I think I have misplaced it (like Remy eventually learns as well) and I just need to find the person who can bring it back to me. My friends always laugh at me because I love romantic movies, books etc. but I am the one who is planning not to get married etc.

Dexter is completely adorable, and even though he has many traits I would not at first look, find attractive at all, I would eventually adore a guy like him. He is a bit of a slacker, but also artistic, funny and oh so optimistic. A total opposite of control freak, pessimistic Remy. It is really interesting to read how the chemistry develops between then, and how eventually, they become to be the perfect match, which Remy tries hard to deny. 

If you are familiar with the other works by Sarah Dessen, you will love this one as well. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Book Review: College Girls (Sweet Valley University, #1) by Francine Pascal

Description (from Goodreads):
In this first story of the Sweet Valley University series the twins and their friends begin their lives as college students. 

My thoughts:
When I was younger I religiously read "Sweet Valley High" novels. I remember going to the library and borrowing 10 of them for a weekend to read. At that time I did not understand to put books and Internet together, so I never heard about "Sweet Valley University" series. Other reason for that might be that they have not been translated to Finnish.

In the first book of Sweet Valley University series the familiar character from SVH are again introduced to us. Wakefield twins, Jessica and Elizabeth are on their way to SVU to begin their first year of university. Elizabeth's boyfriend Todd is also going to attend the same university along with Elizabeth's best friend Enid and Winston. 

When they get to SVU Elizabeth notices that things have changed a lot from the high school years. Enid has changed her name to Alexandra and she has decided she won't be a sidekick for Elizabeth like she was in high school. Todd is busy with university athletics and Elizabeth feels that he is pushing her to a stage in their relationship she is not yet ready to take. Jessica is running around the campus looking for guys and Winston has joined a group of guys from a sorority. Elizabeth notices that she is really alone, and she feels like she is actually the only one who is studying and not partying 24/7. 

I think finding about these series came at the right time for me. I am going to attend university next fall, so it was interesting to read something which fits into a university environment. I was able to identify with Elizabeth because I feel like I will be like her in university; I am not much of a party girl, so I won't spend that much time partying etc. as I know that some students will. 

I really liked this book, and it sucks I was not able to find the second book from anywhere (well, from Amazon, but the shipping to Finland costs so much). My friend had the third book, so maybe I just go straight into that.

Actually, you can help me. Do you know any books which are set into university? I was trying to think of some, but I did not get any into my mind.  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Description (from Goodreads):
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
From the Publisher (Penguin)

My thoughts:
The day Clay receives the Hannah Bakes tapes is not like any day before in his life. And no of the days after that will be the same.

Clay has had a crush of Hannah for years. But because of this shyness his chances with Hannah are on the past now. And there is only one reason for that. Hannah killed herself. But before her suicide she recorded 13 tapes explaining why she took her life away. The tapes are sent to the people who made the list. When Clay gets the tapes and listens to the first tape, he gets to know that he is one reason why Hannah did what she did. 

The story is told through Hannah's tapes and Clay's thoughts. Having these two very different narrators gives a nice, interesting twist to the book. Hannah has been hurt and disappointed. When Clay receives the tapes he is hurt too. And scared. He cannot understand why he is on Hannah's tapes. 

The style Jay Asher uses in this book builds suspense and you just have to keep reading and reading. Some events are foreshadowed which makes the reader want to know more about events which eventually are explained with more detail. Hannah's tapes are disturbing, but what I really like about them is the honesty. And as my Finnish teacher said; If a novel does not make you disturbed/fall in love/emotional etc. the writer has not really succeeded in his/her work. In that area, Asher has succeeded extremely well. I think "Thirteen Reasons Why" tells about very important, and in a way, taboo issue. I recommend "Thirteen Reasons Why" to readers of all age (but maybe not under 13 because of the issue and some disturbing images). 

I promire this book will stay in your mind for weeks after reading it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Book Review: Austenland by Shannon Hale

Description (by Goodreads):
A big success in hardcover, this novel by New York Times bestselling author of Princess Academy is sure to find a new and substantial audience in paperback.
Jane is a young New York woman who can never seem to find the right man—perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined. Is this total immersion in a fake Austenland enough to make Jane kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

My thoughts:

My thoughs after reading the first pages of this novel: "DOES THIS SCARELY SOUNDS LIKE MY LIFE?!?!?!?!??!?!" I showed those pages to my friends as well and the thing was quite evident "Milka, this girl in this book is like you". So I must say that all the way from the beginning, I loved this novel.

Jane lives in New York City. She has been in several relationships but no of them has been something she has looking for since her teenage ages; love like Darcy and Elizabeth's from Pride and Prejudice. Her obsession to Mr. Darcy makes her embarrassed; she hides her BBC Pride and Prejudice adaptation with Colin Firth to different places in her apartment and tries to deny her obsession. But without success. When Jane's wealthy relative dies she testaments a holiday in England for Jane. Jane takes the holiday as a change to end her obsession. She promises herself that after the holiday she will forget her obsession and start to live her life without looking back to Pride and Prejudice. 

When Jane, who has always dreamed about life in Regency England, is whisked into it in this weird English resort she realizes that maybe the life and men of Jane Austen aren't exactly like they are put on the pages of the novels. Is the face Regency house with actors playing different Regency people something that will end Jane's obsession for good? Or will it be something which introduces her to her own Mr. Darcy?

What Jane experiences in this novel is something I want to experience as well. I am still young, but I feel that already my obsession to Mr. Darcy and other Austen men take me apart from many guys my age and bit older. And I have noticed that what I look for in guys is the same elements Darcy, Edmund Bertram and e.g. Mr. Knigtley have. Many times I have heard from my friends that "you have been born a couple hundred years too late". Reading this novel made me want to read and watch everything Austen-y once again, for like the 100th time. By reading this book I was able to say, once again, that there is nothing better than Jane Austen. She is simply amazing. 

I recommend this one to EVERYONE. To the ones who already love Jane Austen. To those unfortunate ones who have not yet been introduced to Jane Austen but who are ready to fall in love. This novel had everything I was looking for; Austen, humor, love, romance, happy ending... Shannon Hale is currently writing some type of sequel/prequel/attachment to this book. I am very curious to see what Hale will do in that novel and how she will continue to delight the lovers of Jane Austen including me.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review: Trade Winds by Christina Courtenay

Description (from Goodreads):
Marriage of convenience or a love for life? It's 1732 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and strong-willed Jess van Sandt knows only too well that it s a man's world. She believes she's being swindled out of her inheritance by her stepfather and she's determined to stop it. When help appears in the unlikely form of handsome Scotsman Killian Kinross, himself disinherited by his grandfather, Jess finds herself both intrigued and infuriated by him. In an attempt to recover her fortune, she proposes a marriage of convenience. Then Killian is offered the chance of a lifetime with the Swedish East India Company's Expedition and he's determined that nothing will stand in his way, not even his new bride. He sets sail on a daring voyage to the Far East, believing he's put his feelings and past behind him. But the journey doesn't quite work out as he expects...

My thoughts:
A novel set in Sweden... This probably was the first one I have ever read. As a Finn, I probably should not say this, but I am completely ignorant when it comes to Swedish language or history. So the accuracy of the historical facts in the novel; I believe them to be right since I do not have any factual knowledge about that.

Jess is a strong willed heroine living in Sweden with her mother and step-father. Jess father started a traiding company, but now, after his father's death, Jess believes her inheritance is tried to be swindled away from her. Jess also hates her step father and is pretty sure he turns all her suitors away so he does not have to pay the dowry for the coming suitors. Then here is Killian. A handsome gambler from Scotland. Jess does not really know what to think about Killian; she is both intrigued and infuriated. In order to recover her fortune, she proposes a marriage of convience. What either Killian nor Jess understand is that they are the perfect match.

What I liked about this story was the fact that it took place in different places. To be honest, the whole Swedish thing did not sound very good to me at the beginning, but I was positively surprised about those parts. Some action also happens in Scotland, which I saw as very interesting because I am probably moving there next year. So reading something about 1700's Scotland was interesting. Then there is a sea voyage to China, which must have been long and dull during the 1700s.

Other thing I really liked was the fact that Jess and Killian just don't magically fall in love. It takes time and they both need to do decisions and fight to get to the point where they realize that they love each other.

I am not really a big fan of historical romance, but I think that the ones that like that type of books will love this one.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Book Review: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Description (from Goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey
dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in
town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

My thoughts:

This is one of those novels I wanted to read because of the fact that some of my favorite book bloggers had hyped about this. I actually went as far as making a request for the local library to order this one in English (I don't know is the going to be a Finnish translation...)

Lennie and Bailey. Bailey and Lennie. 
When Lennie suddenly loses her big sister Bailey her whole world feels like it is crashing down. They have been seen together forever, and Bailey has been the one Lennie has been able to trust in everything. What will Lennie do now when she feels like she has lost a part of herself?

Toby. Bailey's boyfriend, who knows something Lennie does not. When Toby and Lennie start to spend time together, they notice that when they are together, they can feel Bailey's presence. But their friendship turns out to be something more when they both, under grief, try to get help for the grieving process. 

Joe. A new boy in town. An amazing musician who has moved from Paris. Joe's long eyelashes, outlook and musical talent catch Lennie's attention, and as their relationship develops, Lennie notices, that when she is with Joe, she does not feel grief over Bailey.

Lennie is between two guys; Toby who feels as she does and Joe, with who she is completely in love with. What happens if Joe finds out about the weird connection between Lennie and Toby?

I really liked this novel even though it wasn't as good as I expected it to be. I liked Lennie as a character, but at points she just really annoyed me. I don't know how to explain why. If I need to state my favorite character, I would say Joe, since he seems to fill most of the traits of my dream guy. 

What I really liked about this book was the little notes written my Lennie. Those really told something about Lennie as a character and in that way I was able to get into the story better. As the goodreads synopsis says, if you are a fan of Sarah Dessen, I bet you would like this one as well. 

"The Sky is Everywhere" is a beautiful and effective debut novel which will leave you thinking about loss, love and second chances.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Description (from Goodreads):
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

My thoughs: 

I was thinking for a long time that should I even write a review of this novel. The reading process of it was long (and painful) and I really don't have anything positive to say about it. And the biggest thing is that I really don't even know how to explain why I did not like it. But since I want to be fair and tell my opinion, whether positive or negative, I decided that I should write something about it.

When looking at the star average of this novel from Goodreads it is obvious that some people have liked, even loved this novel. When looking at the reviews of some of my goodreads friends I see raving reviews telling how awesome this novel is. I think that is the reason why I bought this book. Now I think this one was a waste of 10 €. But well, at least the cover of the novel is pretty. 

The pace of this novel is extremely slow, the different events in the boarding school do not attach well together and the events tell nothing about the characters. The characters are very artificial, you really do not learn that much about them. The main character of the novel, Luce (I did not even remember her name anymore without Goodreads) is boring and the reader does not get to know that much about her. I was waiting for some type of description about her and her past throughout the book, but all that I remember of her is the fact that everyone though she is nuts or something because some guy died in the fire or something like that. 

Cam and Daniel, the love interests are boring and dull. Normally I right away pick the male lover I prefere but while reading this novel I got mixed up with them. Cam is all attentive and stuff when Daniel is waving his middle finger to Luce the first time they meet. And still Luce falls in love with Daniel because she fells like "she knows him". I love paranormal novels, but I think in this one the whole paranormal stuff was on the background or it was not explained well enough. 

Like I read from some review from Goodreads, this book probably does its thing for some teenager girls. But since I don't think it is all those teenager girls who have given those stars in Goodreads, this book must have something which someone (or a lot of people) find very interesting. I did not find that, of which I am a bit sad about, but like everyone knows, you cannot like everything. This novel did not do its thing for me. All I can say is that I am happy I did not buy the sequel when I saw it in the bookstore!

If you liked this novel, please explain me WHY? (:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book Review: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Description (from Goodreads):
What's the worst thing you've ever done?

When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault. 

My thoughts:

To begin with, I must say this one along "Some girls are" by Courtney Summers are along the best books I have read this year so far. 

'Cracked Up to Be' introduces the reader to Parker Fadley. Things have changed in her life. Previously the cheerleader captain, perfect student and girlfriend of the most popular guy in the school. Now, coming to school drunk and failing classes. But what has happened? What has caused this all?

Parker has something on her consience. She thinks that something bad, something extremely bad happened because of her. Parker wants to be alone and not to talk to anyone. All she wants is to graduate and get out of high school... but that plan does not look that probable because of her unrestricted actions in school. When Jake, a new guy, shows interest in Parker, she starts to have problems keeping up her "lonely rider" image. Why not to give a change to Jake? But can Parker be with anyone before she solves her problems? Especially the problem that keeps bugging her day and night.

Parker is very interesting character to read about. She has been a perfect student and because of that her life has been busy and very social. After a tragedy at party her world collapses and her whole personality changes. She does not care about being the popular student anymore, she just wants to be left alone.

Summers' writing style is one of the best ones I have ever read. She builds tension by foreshadowing things that will be revealed in the book later on. When it comes to Parker's secret, little glimpses of the truth are given throughout the book the final secret revealed all the way at the end. This was one of the books I just couldn't put down. That probably explains the fact that I read this book on one sitting. 

I recommend Courtney Summers and her novels to everyone who loves Young Adult novels and who are interested to read something so well written that it really, literally, makes me cry. 
I can't wait for Courtney Summers' latest novel, 'Fall for Anything' which tells about girl who's father commits a suicide. 'Fall for Anything' will probably be very hard for me to read because my own father committed suicide, but in a way, I could also say that it probably will be very therapeutic experience. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book Review: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead

" Seeing Dimitri watching me, I shook of the memories and kept going with the lesson." (pg.44)

Published: April 10th 2008 by Razorbill
Description (from Goodreads):
Rose Hathaway's got serious guy trouble. Her gorgeous tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason has a huge crush on her, she keeps getting stuck in her best friend Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian. 

Then a massive Strigoi attack puts St. Vladmir's on high alert, and the Academy crawls with Guardians-including the legendary Janine Hathaway...Rose's formidable, long-absent mother. The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks. This year, St. Vladmir's holiday ski trip is mandatory. 

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only provide the illusion of safety. When three students run away to strike back against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. Only this time, Rose-and her heat-are in more danger than she ever could have imagined.

My thoughts:
At Frostbite, the reader is sucked to the world of Moroi, Dramphirs and Vampires for the second time. A same clan of characters than in the first book is included with some nice new character additions. 

A sudden Strigoi attack changes the holiday plans for St. Vladimir's Academy and its students. When one of the royal families offers as five star ski resort for the school to have the holidays at, the students and their families are whisked there with the academy's personal jets. Rose has been used to spend the holidays with Lissa, not with her family. But this year, Janine Hathaway, Rose's kickass Guardian mother joins the party. But is the anything in common with the daughter and the mother? 

Rose is struggling with her emotions. She cannot get Dimitri out of her mind, but at the same time, Mason, her classmate, is clearly in love with her. Rose tries to stick to the feelings for Dimitri, but when she learns that Dimitri might have his eyes on someone else, she decides that there is someone else she can be with. These is also Adrian, a royal guy with a bad reputation. He is suddenly interested about both Rose and Lissa and they don't know why. Maybe Adrian has something in common with one of them?

When three of Rose's school mates run away from the top protected ski resort, Rose and Christian (Lissa's Moroi boyfriend) have to leave the ski resort lands to save their friends. But nothing goes as planned and eventually they notice that they are trapped and there is no way out. Can Rose, an aspiring guardian, save herself and her friends? 

Richelle Mead captivates the reader with her characters, plot and writing. The readers is sucked into the story. You feel like you know the characters; you fall in love with them, you like them, or you just hate them. I really like Rose as a character because she is independent and she does what she feels like to, but at the same time, she is really responsible towards Lissa, the Moroi she is protecting. I cannot say did I like this one more or less than the first book. They both have been amazing and I can't wait to get to the 3rd book. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Review: Innocents by Cathy Coote

Description (from Goodreads):
Innocents is a taut, wickedly clever descent into the anatomy of an obsession, the debut of a precociously assured young literary voice. Forcing someone vulnerable and naive into a sexual relationship is perverted, even evil. But when the perpetrator is a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl, is she culpable? And if the victim is her thirty-four-year-old teacher, shouldn't he have known better? Unforgettable, disturbing, and morally complex, Innocents takes us on a journey into the darker side of desire. It permanently unsettles our notions of innocence, experience, and power, and suggests that we are all culpable.

My thoughts:

During the summer after reading 'A Season of Eden' I started to look for novels with a teacher-student relationship. It is one of those "forbidden" topics and I think that novels written about that are always very interesting. I have read a couple novels like that in English and also some in Finnish. 

'Innocents' was very different from the similar novels I've read before, in a good way. The story is told through a long "letter" from a 16 year old girl to her teacher. In this letter the girl, the narrator, tells the story to the reader and at the same time explain things to the teacher she is writing for. The fact that this novel addresses the reader directly through use of word "you" makes the reading experience very personal, and at point, very disturbing.

The narrator of the novel is a 16 year old girl who seduces her teacher and starts a relationship with him. She moves to live with him and eventually he stops teaching in order for them to continue the relationship. He seems to be very much in love with her; he cannot believe that a girl like her is with a man like him. She fills all his desires, but he is also worried about the fact that he might hurt her. 

Pretty early on in the novel it comes clear for the reader that everything isn't alright with the narrator. She is manipulating and plays a game with her teacher. She wants to keep him in her grip despite the fact that she does not really get out anything from the sexual relationship they have. She is sick and perverted, but still, in a way, the reader feels bad for her.

'Innocents' is a very unique novel and it definitely was a one of a kind reading experience for me. It includes some very disturbing imagenery, but at the same time, in a way, it is very beautifully written. I really recommend this one for everyone. For readers of Young Adult novels, it is a very different type of reading experience. At least, it was for me. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Description (from Goodreads):
If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn’t have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn’t have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn’t have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia.

She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place.

She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her “Chief.” She'd get all his inside jokes, and maybe he wouldn't be so frustrated with her for forgetting things she can't possibly remember.

She’d know about her mom’s new family. She’d know about her dad’s fiancĂ©e. She wouldn't have to spend her junior year relearning all the French she supposedly knew already.

She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn’t have wanted to kiss him back.

But Naomi picked heads. 

My thoughts:
It begins with a coin toss. Naomi picks heads and loses. She hits her head to stairs on the way back from the yearbook lab. She wakes up from ambulance with an amnesia.

Naomi's memories are erased from the last 4 years. She does not remember her best friend Will, her boyfriend Ace, the fact that her mother and father are divorced, why she loved yearbook... She does not even remember how to drive a car. The first new memory she has is James. James was the one who saw her coming down the stairs and hitting her head. He is the one who called the ambulance. And now, Naomi feels a lot more attraction towards mysterious James and towards her boyfriend Ace.

But can Naomi live without looking at the past. Everyone remembers the "old" Naomi; the talented tennis player and a yearbook fanatic. But what if the "new" Naomi wants to do something else? And what happens between James and Naomi? Does James have something he is trying to hide? And what happens if Naomi gets her memories back.

I really enjoyed this novel. Naomi is a funny and likable character. She loses her memory and she has to go through her parents divorce etc. for the second time. She does not remember her best friend, Will, who also seems like he has something to hide. And then there is James, a guy with mysterious background. A guy who seems to be a little messed up.

This novel was throughoutly an interesting read. I really enjoyed reading the thoughts of Naomi. She is in a difficult situation, but still she somehow figures out a way to go on. I recommend this book to fans of YA novels since this has everything you can wait from a good novel; likable protagonist, romance, drama and great plot. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Book Review: Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Description (from Goodreads):
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

My thoughts:
This is one of those novels which has been hyped ALL OVER the blogsphere. Almost every YA blogger has read Hush, Hush, and most of the have something good to say about it. So, obviously, I was really curious to see what all that hype was about. And I also had high expectations since basically 90 percent of the reviews I have read where telling how awesome this book is. And now I understand all the hype.

Nora has never been that much interested about the guys at her school. Her best friend, Vee, who I though was the most hilarious character in the book,  can, at some level be called boy crazy. It is Vee who tries to get Nora to meet guys and start to date. But Nora is not interested, until she is paired up with Patch at biology class. 

For Nora, it seems that Patch can get inside her head. And soon Nora starts to notice that wherever she goes, somehow Patch appears to the same place at the same time. Even though Nora tries to fins something out about Patch, he remains really mysterious, and Nora does not know can she trust him or not. And against her better judgement, she feels really drawn toward Patch.

When strange things start to happen, and eventually even Vee is hurt, Nora knows what something, or someone, is trying to get her. Could it be Patch? Has he done everything just to make Nora trust him? Eventually Nora discovers something about Patch, and about her own past, which changes everything.

Hush, Hush truly was an amazing read. It is one of those novels you just have to keep reading. It captures you and you cannot put the book down. Nora is very likable as a character, and I must admit that I totally fell in love with Patch. I can't wait to read the second book in the series, since Hush Hush really leaves you graving for more.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Book Review: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) by Richelle Mead

"The only thing better than imagining Dimitri carrying me in his arms was imaging him shirtless while carrying me in his arms." (pg.248)

Published: August 16th 2007 by Razorbill
Details: paperpack, 332 pages
Description (from Goodreads):
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

My thoughts:
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead introduces the reader to a whole new world. World of vampires, Dhamphirs and Strigoi. Lissa is a Moroi vampire princess, the last of the Dragomir family. She lost her family in an accident; only she and her best friend, Rose survived. Rose is Dramphir, half human, half Moroi. Her mother is famous guardian; a person who has dedicated her life to make sure that Moroi are safe. Rose is also going to be a guardian; she wants to take care of the most important person in her life, her best friend Lissa. Lissa, a part of vampire royalty, is in constant danger. Strigoi, the world's most dangerous vampires are after her and the other Moroi.

Rose and Lissa has been running around the human world for two years. After the time of freedom, they are catched by Moroi guardians and whisked back to St. Vladimir's Academy at the forests of Montana. St. Vladimir's is a school for both Moroi and Dhampirs. Rose has been basically raised by the academy because of her mother's job. When they arrive back to the Academy, gossips start to spread about the reasons for their leaving the academy and how Lissa was feed during their run away. Everyone is also surprised about the fact that Lissa has not specialized yet in her magic. All her peers already have their specializations. Will Lissa specizialize, or has she already done so? 

Rose is behind the other novices. The absence of two years is showing in her fighting skills and she is weaker that the others. Dimitri, quiet and godlike Russian Guardian, has promised to give Lissa extra lessons before and after the regular lessons. Soon, Lissa notices that she is crushing on Dimitri. Does Dimitri have feelings for her? Could their relationship work despite the 7 years of age difference?

Lissa and Rose have a special bond. Lissa can go into the mind of Rose and experience what she thinks and feels. The bond becomes very helpful at times, but does Rose really want to experience everything Lissa does? It is also mystery was has caused this powerful bond. As gossip and strange things start to circle around the school, both Lissa and Rose are not sure what they should do. Is is Strigoi who tries to hurt Lissa, or is it someone from the school? 

I have completely fallen in love with the vampire world of 'Vampire Academy'. I have nothing negative to say about the book. The characters, places, plot... everything works out perfectly. Now I understand all the hype about the series. I cannot wait to read the second book in the series. 

The way Mead has written this book takes the reader inside the story and it feels like you are really there, experiencing the same things Lissa and Rose experience. Rose, a fierce and reckless girl who has previously liked to hook up with boys and party (she still does so from time to time) has taken responsibility to make sure that her friend, fragile and emotional Lissa, a Moroi Princess is safe. Both of the girls, Lissa and Rose, fall in love... but with wrong guys (at least that is what others think). Can Rose protect Lissa? Will they both end up happily with the guys they love? 

I want to thank all the people who have kept recommending these books to me. Especially Juli, you have probably told me 10 times how good these books are and finally I was smart enough to pick them up and start to read.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Description (from Goodreads):
The Final Chapter
Harry has been burdened with a dark, dangerous and seemingly impossible task: that of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him.
In this final, seventh installment of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling unveils in spectactular fashion the answers to the many questions that have been so eagerly awaited. The spellbinding, richly woven narrative, which plunges, twists and turns at a breathtaking pace, confirms the author as a mistress of storytelling, whose books will be read, reread and read again.

My thoughts:

Who does not love the magical world of Harry Potter? Who has not waited for a letter from Hogwarts? Since the first Harry Potter book, I have been in love with everything related to the books and the world of Harry Potter. Right now, my biggest dream is to travel to Florida to that Harry Potter theme park... Why does it have to be so far away from Finland?

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Harry, Ron and Hermione are trying to fullfil Dumbledore's final task for them. The Magical Ministry and Hogwarts have been taken over by the Death Eaters, and Lord Voldemort's power over everything is increasing. What makes Harry, Ron and Hermione's task hard is the fact that Dumbledore did leave them any detailed informationg about the task. By using their intelligence and what they have learned they are able to figure out what to do. But are they too late?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows finalizes the story of Harry Potter and her friends. It was heartbreaking to finish this book, even though it was my second time finishing it, it felt like a whole "era" had ended. And now the final movie is coming out as well, I can't believe it is almost over. Like the goodreads description says, this really is one of those books you can go back to over and over again.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Book Review: Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Published: July 20th, 2010 by Scholastic UK ltd.
Description (from Goodreads):
In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past…and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves…and is nonetheless drawn to Cole. At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love–the light and the dark, the warm and the cold–in a way you will never forget.

My thoughts:
I adored Shiver and I could not wait to read this book. I knew I would love it as well. And I did. A lot.

Sam, once a wolf, now a boy. He is in love with Grace, who has been bitten by a wolf, but she never turned to one. They seem to be the perfect couple, soulmates. But something is happening inside Grace. She gets horrible headaches and she feels like under her skin, there is something or someone who tries to get out. Sam notices it also, especially when he smells the wolf in her. 

Cole. A rockstar known to everyone. By using drugs, he has been able to hide the reality. But it was not enough. Beck changed him into a wolf, but know it seems that it does not work. Cole does not change to be a wolf even though he would like to. When he meets Isabel, there is something between them, but could it be something Grace and Sam have?

The story in Linger is told through 4 different narrators; Sam, Grace, Cole and Isabel. I really liked the fact that Stiefvater decided to use all of these four characters as narrators. It gives more insight to the story and it also makes it more personal, telling the reader more about the feelings and thoughts these characters have. 

Linger was as good as I expected. Maybe even better. I can't believe we will have to wait to summer 2011 to get to know what happens to Grace and Sam and to Cole and Isabel. To the ones who liked 'Shiver', Linger is a must-read!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Description (from Goodreads):
When the new managers of the Paris Opera House ignore their predecessors' warnings about the hideous 'Opera ghost' stalking the theatre, it is a fatal mistake. Tortured by unrequited love for the beautiful young singer Christine Daae, the mysterious figure living in the depths beneath them has been awaiting his chance to strike. And when Christine suddenly disappears after a triumphant singing performance, it becomes clear that the phantom's time has come. Filled with colour and theatrical spectacle, this thrilling gothic tale has enthralled readers with its mystery, eerie suspense and tragic story of love turned into deadly obsession.

My thoughts:
I was on 8th grade when we watched clips of the 21st century movie version of The Phantom of the Opera at my music class. I right away fell in love with the music, the wonderful costumes and the love story, and I knew that I would have to see the movie as a whole.

My mother bought me the special edition of the movie with 3 DVDs. I cannot even remember how many times I've watched the movie. When I saw this book in the library, I knew that I have to read it. I've read this book twice now, once in Finnish years ago, and now recently in English. I am so happy I bought my own copy of it since this is definitely one of those books I want to go back to. 

I read some reviews of this novel from Goodreads and many of them say that the movie is far better than the novel. I must disagree with this. The novel is a lot more complex with captivating scenes and full of suspense. 

The novel tells a story of 'opera ghost' who roamed under the Opera House at Paris during the 1800s. The ghost, Erik, falls in love with one of the girls from the opera, Christine Daae. Christine is in love with Raoul de Chagny. Erik, Christine and Raoul form a love triangle, which in this novel works out very well.

In the movie version Raoul is portrayed as very heroic character. The novel by Leroux is mostly told from the point of view of Raoul, who is a total "weenie". He cries a lot and time to time it feels like he is a character from a soap opera. At some parts, you just feel embarassed for him. The Phantom, on the other hand, is very interesting character. He is very intelligent and probably because of that catched my attention. While reading this novel I right away picked the Ghost to be my favorite character. While watching the movie I really like Raoul, but in this novel he is one of the most annoying things in the novel as a whole. 

The epilogue of this novel is very interesting since it tells about the history of the phantom. Even though it is pretty long, it is definitely read worthy. Especially the last third of the novel is filled with suspense and the end made me cry. For the fans of the musical this is a great read since it opens up the history of the characters by telling how Christine came to the opera, how Phantom constructed his underground living etc. 

The Phantom of the Opera is a great suspense story filled with love and passion. I really recommend it to everyone, especially to the fans of the musical.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: Socrerers of the Nightwing: Book 1: The Ravenscliff Series by Geoffrey Huntington

I remember reading this book for the first time when I was on 6th grade. One of my friends recommended it to me and I picked it up from the library. When I saw the picture in the cover I knew I would love this book. It is so beautiful and at the same time really disturbing. 

When Devon is 14 years old, he is sent to Ravenscliff. At there he learns a reason for his talents. Devon has been able to move objects with his mind, disappeat at will and summon incredible strenght. He has been concious about this weird powers, but he has not know a reason for them. At Ravenscliff he gets to know that he is a socrerer of the Order of Nightwing. The information about this changes the life of young Devon. Devon's new family get worried about the powers Devon might have and they forbit him from discovering his powers anymore. 

Ravenscliff location causes problems for Devon. It is built over one of the largest Hellholes in the world. The most fearful demon, Madman, wants to gain his power back by unleashing the creatures of the hellhole. With the help of his new friends from Misery Point High, Devon has to fight off the demons. These friends include beautiful Cecily Crandall, who might hold some secrets herself. 

This book is a total pageturner. It is full of suspense and action. When I read it as a 12 year old six grader I was totally scared for the most of the time. Can Devon and his friends prevent the plans of the Madman or will he and his horrid creatures take over?

This is a first part of a series. The second novel in the series is called Demon Witch.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Book Review: L.A. Candy (L.A. Candy, #1) by Lauren Conrad

"Veronica knew that only thing America loved more that watching their stars rise was watching them fall." (pg.174)

Published: June 1st 2009 by HarperCollins
Description (from Goodreads):

Los Angeles is all about the sweet life: hot clubs, cute guys, designer . . . everything. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can't wait to start living it up. She may be in L.A. for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun.
When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, a "reality version of Sex and the City," they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please!
Soon Jane is TV's hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara—free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premieres—and she's lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane's spotlight.
In a city filled with people chasing after their dreams, it's not long before Jane wakes up to the reality that everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be.
L.A. Candy is a deliciously entertaining novel about what it's like to come of age in Hollywood while starring in a reality TV show, written by a girl who has experienced it all firsthand: Lauren Conrad.

My thoughts:
Jane Roberts is a girl next door type of sweet California girl. She has lived her whole life in comfort and she has been always taken care of. Her parents are caring and she has a close relationship to her sisters. She has been friends with Scarlett for years. Scarlett is stunningly beautiful, but also intelligent. She and Jane are like sisters, and they share everything together.

When Jane gets an internship at the office of one of the most famous party planners of L.A and Scarlett decides to attend university there, they more together to the big city. Everything is new for them, and they try to browse the city to find cool places to hang around. At one night, they meet up with Braden, a hot aspiring actor. There is a definite chemistry between Jane and him.

The life of the girls change when they meet Trevor, a Hollywood producer, who asks them to star in a new reality show. After auditions, Jane and Scarlett cannot believe that they are picked to the role, to be tv-stars. The camera's are following them to their job and school, and also film them at clubs, the city and even their home. They are introduced to Madison, a socialite who enjoys spending money and wants to be the number one star of the show,  and Gaby, a sweet girl who gets mocked for being the 'stupid' one, who are also starring at the show. But is being a tv star as wonderful as they though it to be?

Jane is struggling with guys. She has a definite crush on Braden, but after a party at Braden's house, she realizes that she might have some feelings for Braden's best friend Jesse. Jesse is notorious for his short relationship with models etc. Is Jesse really a changed man, or is Jane's friends right about him. Can Jane trust Jesse? And a more important question is, can Jane trust her friends? 

Honestly, I really did not have really high expectations towards this novel. I had wanted to read it for a such a long time, and finally I got a change to do so. What comes to the expectations, I think that the fact that Lauren Conrad is a reality star, affected them a little. Last year, I read the book written by Nicole Richie; it was one of the crappiest books I've read. But this one was a bit surprise for me. I think that the characters were built up well, and the plot moves smoothly. I really liked how different the characters are, but they still have a connection.

Lauren Conrad is famous for starring at the MTV reality show 'The Hills'. I used to watch it when I lived at States, and it has also been shown at the Finnish TV. I am not familiar with all the things that has happened, but I know that Lauren Conrad and Triple D Heidi Montag used to be BFF's. Then that scumbag Spencer Pratt somehow made Heidi to fall in love with him, and they spread a sex tape of Lauren Conrad to the media. (Or something like that, correct me if I am right). So they are not friends anymore. I kept waiting for a same type of story line from this novel, and in a way, it was there, but with a twist. Since the novel is a work of fiction, Conrad probably did not want to include everything as it really went. 

I have always liked Lauren Conrad. And I really admire her for the fact that she herself wanted to get out of the show. I know that lunatics like Spencer and Heidi would be happy to do the Hills to the moment they die. But as you know, nothing lasts forever. And I think that Lauren Conrad understood that. I know that after the Hills she has been working on fashion industry and she has also got the time to write two sequels to L.A. Candy. She is amazingly beautiful woman and I love her style. And I am surprised to say, that I really like her writing as well. 

To the fans of the Hills, this is a must read. But I also think that this is nice novel oor fans of Young Adult fiction. It is a story about growth, friendship, love and trust. I can't wait to read the second novel in the series and I just noticed from goodreads that the third one will be published later this year. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Book Review: Turning The Tide by Christine Stovell

Published: June 30th, 2010 by Choc Lit
Description (from Goodreads):
All's fair in love and war? Depends on who's making the rules. Harry Watling has spent the past five years keeping her father's boat yard afloat, despite its dying clientele. Now all she wants to do is enjoy the peace and quiet of her sleepy backwater. So when property developer Matthew Corrigan wants to turn the boat yard into an upmarket housing complex for his exotic new restaurant, it's like declaring war. And the odds seem to be stacked in Matthew's favour. He's got the colourful locals on board, his hard-to-please girlfriend is warming to the idea and he has the means to force Harry's hand. Meanwhile, Harry has to fight not just his plans but also her feelings for the man himself. Then a family secret from the past creates heartbreak for Harry, and neither of them is prepared for what happens next...

My thoughts:
Harriet (Harry Watling has done everything to keep her dear father's boat yard running. The clients are turning away and Harry has to struggle with money. But with help of George, a man who was Harry's father's best friend, she has been able to keep the yard running. Everything changes when Matthew Corrigan, a property developer comes into the picture.

Matthew has bought an old clubhouse next to Harry's boat yard. He is confident that he will be able to persuade Harry Watling to sell him part of the boat yard which he wants to turn into a housing complex for his new restaurant. But Harry Watling turns out to be something really different he expected; firstly, a woman. Secondly, a woman with her own opinions and determination. 

Harry cannot stand Matthew. She cannot understand why someone like him arrives to a place like Little Spitmarsh and tries to ruin everything. Even though she feels hatred towards Matthew, at the same time she has to fight with feelings she feels around him. But what she does not know, is that Matthew has weird thoughts about Harry as well, thoughts he never expected to have about a woman like Harry.

When Matthew discovers a secret about the boat yard, he knows that he will be able to destroy the yard and Harry along with it. Harry is ready to fight for her father's inheritance, but can she fight against Matthew? And does Harry know everything about his dear father's past.

Secrets are revealed, confessions are made, and surprises are discovered. 

I throughly enjoyed 'Turning the Tide' by Christine Stovell. I must admit that at first, it was really hard for me to get into this book. The plot moves really slowly, and at first, I did not like Harry at all as a character. I just keep thinking why she has to be so stubborn, why she does not take the money and be happy about that? But as the plot revolves, I got to know why Harry acts like she does. She loved her father dearly, and after the death of him, her mother left and she was left alone to cherish her father's memory. When Matthew arrives, she feels that the last reminder of her father is going to be taken away. 

Matthew, as a character, is also really interesting. He is rich, handsome and used to life in luxury. But despite all that, he eventually realizes that he is a bit unhappy. His relationship isn't working, and he does not know is the anything he can do to make it work. When he meet Harry, he feels that he is drawn into her; to a woman he would never expected to have feelings for.

'Turning the Tide' by Christine Stovell is a story about secrets from the past, forgiveness, and love. It has interesting characters, beautiful setting and a plot, which paces slowly, but interestingly. 

I want to thank Choc Lit publishing for sending me a review copy of this novel.

Remember to check out my giveaway for 'Turning the Tide' from here!!!!!